Les’ second retirement

HARD-WORKING: Caretaker Les Chandler, 85, retired from Castle Hall Academy on Thursday after 30 years working at the school. (d15121143)
HARD-WORKING: Caretaker Les Chandler, 85, retired from Castle Hall Academy on Thursday after 30 years working at the school. (d15121143)
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AN 85-year-old caretaker has retired after working at the same school for 30 years.

Les Chandler worked his last shift at Castle Hall Academy yesterday, and his cheerfulness will be missed by staff and pupils alike.

He said: “I’m a bit overcome with it all and I’m overwhelmed.

“It has been emotional. I’ve made a lot of friends in these 30 years.”

Mr Chandler, of Westfields Avenue, was born in Bridlington but moved to Mirfield in 1945.

He first retired in 1980 after working for 33 years at Imperial Chemical Industries in Huddersfield.

However, in 1981 hard-working Mr Chandler took up a post at the school in Richard Thorpe Avenue where he has remained ever since.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed being here with all the staff. I’ve always been a very energetic sort – I can’t sit down doing nothing.”

As school site manager, Dan Smith was Mr Chandler’s boss. He said: “Les is a hard one to replace.

“He is a true gentleman, respected by staff and students, and it has been great working with him.”

Headteacher Andy Pugh said: “Les is impressive because people look and see somebody who loves coming in to see us and who we love seeing.”

Mr Pugh paid tribute to Mr Chandler in a staff presentation on Wednesday morning, when he was given a giant yule log made by school cooks and gift vouchers.

Mr Chandler is looking forward to spending his retirement indulging his two passions, cooking and gardening, but said he would still visit the school regularly to see his old friends.